Birth Story

Posted by on May 27, 2007 in Uncategorized | 3 comments

Disclaimer: For our male readers, or those who may be squeamish, you may want to just skip over this entry. It will include a graphic, but hopefully comedic look at childbirth. You’ve been warned.

On Wednesday, May 3, I left work early to once again go to the OB. We were anxious to hear if there had been any progress in cervical dilation and had fairly high hopes for it. Once we got in there and the good doctor started feeling around, we were a little disappointed. I was still at just one centimeter dilated but was then almost completely effaced. So he did what any good OB would do. He stripped my membranes (aka awesome-happy-fun-time). The last time he’d done that, I’d gone to work the next day and thought I was going into labor around noon. This time, I wasn’t so sure that I’d go to work the next day. I also wasn’t so sure that the pain of having my membranes stripped was going to amount to anything, which is why we agreed to be induced the next week if the baby didn’t come on his own.

We left the doctor’s office and went to Matt’s…the delicious Tex Mex place that’s just down the street from us. We’d joked a bit with the OB about things that make babies come and spicy food made that list. We thought we’d go all cliche and eat some of the hot salsa that they serve with their homemade chips. We got the fajitas, like we always do, and kidded each other about this being our last meal out without a kid.

When we got home we chatted with the neighbors for a bit and I gave one of them some hair product advice. When I went back inside I went to the bathroom and found blood in my underwear. I made Jud go get one of our other neighbors who’s a nurse and talked to her through the bathroom door about the blood. She agreed that it was probably just from the membrane strip but told me that it could be a good sign of progress. I didn’t get my hopes up. But I did put on an adult diaper just in case my water were to break overnight (Jud was fairly concerned about ruining a mattress with amniotic fluid, and I wasn’t exactly excited about things getting messy, so when our nurse neighbor suggested Depends for postpartum, we thought it might also help out up front too. Extra bonus points to Jud for purchasing the Depends, size small, without me present).

We spent that evening taking pictures of ourselves and recording a video for posterity. When we went to bed, I had Jud set the alarm as if I was going to work the next day, but when it went off about 5am, I got up and felt really exhausted, a little sick to my stomach and really crampy. I went back to sleep and eventually moved to sleeping down on the sofa. Jud brought me the phone about 11:30 since the number was from my office. I didn’t wake up in time to answer it, but I called back almost right away and jumped onto a call with my boss and my replacement. Just as we were about to get down to business, I stood up and felt a gush of water and shouted “Oh my gosh, I think my water just broke!” They both started yelling at me to go to the hospital. I hung up the phone and went into the bathroom. Since the Depends had soaked up all the fluid, I wasn’t sure what had happened.

I went upstairs to tell Jud that I thought my water broke and he was all “well, did it or didn’t it?”. I wasn’t sure. So I stood over the toilet for a little bit and sure enough water was dripping out of me. Jud called the doctor’s office while I jumped into the shower. The nurse told him that we should go to the hospital right then, but I figured we had some time, so we got some stuff done around our place…the dreaded dishes, car cleaned out, lunch prepared and eaten. We grabbed our bags, got in the car and drove the five minutes to the hospital.

While making our way to the parking garage, we got caught in a bizarre traffic jam involving a truck with large metal poles sticking off the back of it, and SUV that ran over traffic cones and curbs to get out of the mess and one man who should not be allowed to direct traffic. While waiting for people to figure out the traffic jigsaw, my phone rang. The nurse from the doctor’s office was all “Where are you?” and I was all “Outside. Coming soon!”

We finally parked and walked into L&D (after some effort to find the right door). Once inside the women at the counter did not think I was at all in labor (and I sort of wasn’t). They were going to do a swab to make sure my water had really broken, but I told them that I was on my third Depends now, so I was pretty sure the seal had been tampered with. They aborted the initial swab and just took us to our room.

We met the cutest, best nurse ever named Charlotte, who was great. She got everything entered and prepared and then sentenced me to walking. The contractions were sporadic and not especially strong and I was still only 1cm dilated.

Two hours of walking circles through Labor and Delivery only increased the intensity, but not by much. I was still laughing and joking about running laps instead of walking them. By then it was dinner time and it was time to stop messing around and force those contractions to get busy. Charlotte hooked up the IV and got the Pitocin dripping. I’m not sure exactly when, but somewhere around this time, Jenn and Zanna showed up…with magazines and smiles and cameras and hope. We all watched the computer screen chart out the contractions in humps and bumps. Eventually I started having to focus when they came to keep breathing. When the pain graduated to ugly, Jenn and Zanna left the room and Jud held my left hand and looked a little worried. He fed me ice and I tried to not give in to the dark side.

By this point, Charlotte’s shift had ended and LaToya was on. She was great too, but just a little less involved with us. She offered a non-epidurial pain med and I took it, but I shouldn’t have. It didn’t stop the contraction pain but it did make me feel like I was drunk…tired and a little out of control. Jud took a video of me in the state and I am slurring my words and oddly smilely. The contractions kept coming, harder and harder and then I started shaking. Violent shakes that I couldn’t control. I hated them. I couldn’t focus any more. I was still only 1 cm dilated and losing hope. I asked for the epidural.

A little Indian (dots not feathers) man trotted in stoically as I slouched over a pillow and held onto Jud. Cold scraping on my back and cramps running through my legs and a little more shaking while trying to stay still and then…..bliss. I could still feel my belly constricting, but without the pain and without the shaking. Jenn and Zanna came back in. We watched the Mavs game. I was 5cm dilated.

After the game was over and a little more time had passed when I tried unsuccessfully to sleep on my back (no rolling over with tubes shoved inside your spine), LaToya came back in and checked. 10cm! Victory! She called the doc. I tried to not be tired. Jenn and Zanna went back to the very cold waiting room.

LaToya took the bottom half of the bed off so that we could get ready for pushing and some other nurses and techs came in and out bringing in tools and blankets and things. She showed Jud how to hold my leg up and then took the other one in her hands and said I should push for the next contraction to practice. That pushing to get a baby out is just like pushing during a bowel movement. And that’s when I remembered that everybody poops. Well, just about everybody poops during labor. I did NOT want to poop. But I did want that baby, so I guess I might have to poop in front of people who are strangers (not as bad, since you don’t really hang out with them) and my husband (pretty bad, considering he’s already seeing all that other stuff expand and stretch and who knows what that’s going to do to his mind). So I started pushing and LaToya told me to stop because she “doesn’t make enough money to do this part.”

In came the doctor and I apologized for disturbing her sleep, but she’s 32 weeks pregnant, so sleep isn’t really something she does much of these days. She checked me out and told me to get ready to push on the next contraction. Fifteen minutes of pushing later and I heard his little cry for the very first time. It was the best sound I’ve ever heard. And then he was on me, crying and squirming and angry and confused. Jud cut the cord and then took video and still shots of him while he was getting checked out. You can hear me in the background talking with the doctor as they stitch me up (just one!) and then pretty soon he was back in my arms and he got to meet Aunt Jenn and Aunt Zanna.

Once we were all on our way to our post partum room, the crazy tired kicked in and I barely remember what happened while our nurse (and neighbor) explained all of the hospital stuff. She checked my bottom and proclaimed the lack of hemorrhoids ‘great!’ and then told me that lots of people have them “the size of grapes”. One stitch and no grapes did not make potty time any happier the next day, but I suppose it would’ve been much more painful to sit in that hospital bed if things had gone differently.

We spent the next two days with lots of visitors and plenty of time to look at the incredible little baby who had changed us from husband and wife to dad and mom.

He slept and he ate and he got lots of cuddles and sweet words from his mom and dad. He’s more than we expected; more beautiful, more fun, more boy, more baby, more smiles and more love. We couldn’t be happier.


  1. you lucky duck! that’s a great birth story!


  2. Kim! that made me cry! so sweet and so true!

  3. Just want to add that both of you totally ROCKED the labor & deliver thing…Kim, you made it look way too easy!!
    ~Aunt Zan

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